ABOUT AND SOON TO COME….


(photo-Alice Garick)

Barbara Mahler  is a choreographer, performer, movement educator, body worker; a master teacher of and major contributor to Klein Technique™, faculty and certified practitioner of Zero Balancing. She holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee – 2007.  CLICK HERE…..On-going Classes in NYC.

“IT OcCurS to mE”
Choreography, performance and costume: Barbara Mahler
“A profoundly physical exploration of a defining  moment.”created with support from NDA summer 2015 LIFT OFF residency program, and Movement Research. September and October performances created,  with additional support from the Dance Gallery

   See February 2017 issue of DANCE TEACHER MAGAZINE for feature article and video

Barbara Mahler: How I Teach Klein Technique

Posted on January 31, 2017 by
Barbara Mahler’s Klein Technique class always begins the same way: Students slowly roll down until they’re completely folded over—and stay there for about half an hour. This, dancers say, is where tiny miracles happen. There’s a Zen-like calm so strong it’s palpable, as Mahler weaves through her students, gently inviting them to “bring attention to the hamstrings” or cueing the “weight of the head to pull on the tail.”

To a novice, a Klein Technique class might appear monotonous or even strange. But “it’s a way to re-educate and facilitate change—it’s knowledge for people to help themselves move better, with less pain and more ease,” says Mahler, who has been teaching it for 34 years. Klein Technique was developed by Susan Klein in the 1970s as a response to her own injuries. Part somatic practice, part movement technique, its repetitive, slow-moving approach helps students realign and repattern their bodies, leading to the dissolution of bad habits, a new range of motion and injury prevention.

A latecomer to dance as an undergraduate at Hunter College, Mahler found herself plagued by injuries. “I was always having back problems,” she says. Then she found Susan Klein’s studio and noticed a dramatic transformation in her body. “I realized I wasn’t in pain and my back was getting better,” says Mahler. “I was learning how to understand myself.” She quickly became a devotee and eventually a certified teacher.

For many modern dancers in New York City, Mahler’s class is a source of revelation. “I grew up doing lots of ballet, so when I went to college for modern dance, I was constantly told to be more grounded and give in to my weight,” says Trina Mannino, a student of Mahler’s for two years. “It was in the hanging over that I felt this surrender in my body. It started to shift for me.”

The beginning of class isn’t the only time revelations occur. Near the end, when Mahler noticed her students going from a fetal position on the floor to a spread-eagled X-position by initiating from the feet, she suggested they pair up and try moving from a different part of their bodies to see if that led to any discoveries. While one partner lay on the ground, the other placed their hands on their partner’s trochanters (the two bony protuberances at the top of each thigh bone) for tactile encouragement. Afterward, Mahler had them walk around the room to feel the difference in their bodies.

The change was immediately visible: The side of the body that had been touched appeared longer and more relaxed. “I feel like my legs are walking me!” said one student, clearly surprised.

That surprise is what Mahler hopes her students leave class with. “I want them to have a different experience of being in their body,” she says. “And that information is something you take away and apply to other classes.” DT

Barbara Mahler has been teaching Klein Technique since 1983. She was on faculty at the Klein School of Movement from 1983 to 2002; today she teaches at Movement Research and Gibney Dance Center in NYC. She has a BA in dance from Hunter College and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her choreography has been presented by Danspace Project, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Dixon Place in New York.

Trina Mannino
is a professional dancer who has been Mahler’s student since 2013

click below for video

Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter

June 2016 interview with Dance Enthusiast~

By Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter
View Profile | More From This Author

Barbara Mahler on the Intersection of Choreography and Teaching


Performer, choreographer and educator Barbara Mahler returns to the Performance Mix Festival with her solo IT OcCurS to mE. Mahler has known festival founder Karen Bernard for years, beginning when they shared their work in the same program in the ‘70s. They continued to bump into one another in their Tribeca neighborhood where they both lived and worked at that time.

The two came together again this past May when they revived one of Bernard’s works Vinyl Retro (1999) for a Dance and Process performance at The Kitchen. “It was rare for both of us,” Bernard says. “For me, to be working with someone and for her to be dancing in another person’s work.”

“I was on another planet,” Mahler says with a chuckle. Bernard’s dances are peppered with props and video while Mahler is drawn to work where the body alone is the focal point. Despite their contrasting approach, the two veterans had great fun working together.

Mahler didn’t grow up dancing like her counterpart. Instead, she stumbled upon it while studying at Hunter College. “I walked into the dance club which was on Wednesday afternoons. There was Dorothy [Vislocky] and her infamous drum.”

Barbara Mahler in Bellas Dance. Photo: Rachel Thorne Germond

She soon enrolled as a dance major, taking any classes available. It was at Hunter where she first learned of Susan Klein’s Klein Technique™ through Vislocky — both of whom had a deep impact on Mahler.

After graduation she began studying at the Klein/Barry Studio while working a host of jobs including as a bank teller and house cleaner. “The technique was the only thing that gave me a language that I could understand myself as a mover,” she says.

Today, she continues to teach in the Klein Technique tradition in New York and abroad, describing it as “an original method of developing movement and posture through deep understanding of skeletal and muscular structure of the body and its expressive possibilities.”

The venerable artist has trained hundreds of dancers and non-dancers while continuing to create solos and dances for small groups that are pregnant with nuance and skill.  She spoke with The Dance Enthusiast about how her teaching and choreographic life intersect. Here is an excerpt from the conversation.

Barbara Mahler in We Do Weddings Too. Photo: Julie Lemberger / julielemberger.com.

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full interview with Dance enthusiast below..click on link
http://www.danceenthusiast.com/features/view/Barbara-Mahler

Barbara  received a 2013 BAX 10 AWARD in Arts Education.  

As well as choreographing and teaching, she maintains a private practice in hands on  body work, using the techniques and principles of Zero Balancing, Connective Tissue Therapy, and Klein Technique,  working with injury rehabilitation and prevention;  movement re education and coordination. She is a master teacher/contributor of Klein Technique, (www.kleintechnique.com) and a senior faculty and certified practitioner of Zero Balancing (www.zerobalancing.com). As a movement educator, has been an ongoing faculty member with Movement Research NYC since 2005, teaching group classes aimed towards the improvement of coordination, alignment and general physical well-being.  Barbara was the motor of the Susan Klein School of Dance 1989-2002, to quote Dianne Madden, artistic director for TBDC, having begun teaching there full time in 1983.  Movement Research continues to provide a home base for all aspects of her research.  Barbara’s  viewpoint of the well-functioning person/body is grounded in her long – standing work in the dance and movement field.  Her major and most consistent sources of information have come from the study and teaching  of Klein Technique and  Zero Balancing, along with the perspectives and insights gained from re-educating her own body.  Dorothy Vislocky was the spark that turned her world upside down and she began Dancing. Her continuing curiosity about the body, movement, perception, and learning fuels all aspects of her work – performance, teaching, choreography. Contemporary dance techniques, composition, improvisation, choreography and performance have all played major roles in the focus and experience of her work.  Her small and intimate dances/choreography have been presented across the globe – Chile, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Denmark,  and many venues in New York,  as well as across the US.  Barbara was an ongoing guest faculty with of the Danish National School of Theater and Contemporary Dance, 1994-2015.

Summer and Fall  2016, Winter and Spring 2017      WORKSHOPS/PERFORMANCES:        Click here for  Workshops)/  calendar

SUMMER MELT with MOVEMENT RESEARCH (annually since 2008) JULY 17-21 2017

CUERPO INTELIGENTE/CORPUS INTELLEGENTIA   Santiago CHILE! September 28- October 2 2016, October 17-22 2017 with     contact danzaotux@gmail.com

Minneapolis, MN  MAY 12-14 and December 8-18 2017 ..check the workshop calendar for details

Taipei, with dance company HORSE,  (horse.info1@gmail.com🙂  June 27-July 2 2017

BERLIN at TANZFABRIK EASTER Workshop April 2018

A Shared evening of Dances At Brooklyn Studios for Dance in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn end April 2017

 I received my BA from Hunter College, under the tutelage of Dorothy Vislocky, NYC, and my MFA from University of Milwaukee/Wisconsin in 2007.  I was an artist in Residence with Movement Research for the 2003-04, and 2006 -08 seasons. Movement Research continues to provide a home base for the development of my artistic visions and products. Internationally, my choreographic work has received support from the Arts Councils in Montreal, Canada; Danse Alliensen in Sweden (Stockholm and Gothenburg) and the Cultural Arts Ministry in Chile. I was a recipient of a Sage Cowls Land Grant, and part of the first solo dance artist residency at The Yard (an artist’s colony in Chilmark, Mass.) I was artist in residence at the first summer dance intensive at Ohio State University.  I was a LIFT-OFF summer residency recipient in 2015, and received artistic support from “Dance Gallery”, NYC summer 2016.   I was a  guest artist/teacher at Hunter College, NYC, 2000-11 and an adjunct evaluator at SUNY Empire State College 2011-13 Since 1977, I have been an avid student, becoming a master teacher of as well of a contributor to Klein Technique, applying the principles to dance and movement from all points of view. In the mid ‘80s.  I began creating mainly intimate solo dances for large and small spaces expanding to group dances, all with the earmark of, textures in time and space, portraits and non-linear stories. My work has been presented both nationally and internationally, receiving was a BAX 2013 Artists in progress award in Arts Education, accepted for EMERGE 2014, and was a member of LEAP  a Queens Arts Council Program supporting development of vision, artistic products and process. I received a choreographic residency from the CAVE, Williamsburg, NY, a commission for student dance work at Wilson College,PA; and a grant to reset work on Clancy Dance in Silver Springs, MD, both spring 2015. I was a space grant recipient summer 2015 from LIFT-OFF, NYC .

Artistic Statement:
My choreographic passion is the solo dance, for my self and others; dances I think of in terms such as clarity and intention.  Movement created through daily work in the studio through improvisational is my primary medium and drawing from my life experiences and artistic exposure.

My interest, my passion, is the body – the limitless possibilities of the body as an expressive instrument.  I think of  my dances as being in dialogue with the spaces in which they are created and/or performed, and for each particular audience. Nothing exists alone;   all things can only exist in relationship. This is the way I approach and view my work. Dances are always given a new life with each  audience in each new environment or performance.  Although all dances are created to realize a particular form or shape, to convey an event, fulfill a concept, I view, and create my dances with the premise that they are innately possessed of a spontaneity and flexibility that give rise to various interpretations and meanings.  Solos in particular, in the absence of other dancers, call upon the interpreter/ dancer’s inner dialogue as primary tools in creating and maintaining a relationship between themselves  and the audience, while the dance itself creates the structure for the communication.  The audience, an assortment of individuals, come together in what I think of as a collective vision.  The audience collective can affect the outcome and the interpretation;  of what is being presented on the canvas. The relationships thus created are with the self, the audience and the space, and, in the case of duos and trios,  other performers.   Although I know what my dances are, they acquire new life in each different circumstance. I mold and craft my dances in detail and design, and in paradox, aim for spontaneity and immediacy.  My current trajectory includes but is not limited to rigorous improvisational and collaborative process in rehearsals and performance.   Deborah Jowitt of the Village Voice wrote the following about a concert of my work, presented by Danspace Project at St. Mark’ Church – :“Barbara Mahler roots her choreography in distillation, as if she aims to extract the essence of her ideas, making them calmer and purer. Struggle is subdued, climax minimized….intriguing ways she blends delicacy and strength and skews familiar movements.”

http://youtu.be/ThPi7IbAeXY    “Precipice” at Green Space 2015

Kathee Miller….ArtBark Santa Barbara, CA946650_10201943066281266_1343361201_n

http://youtu.be/IG4arzHWEro    WHEN SHE STUMBLES    2013 at The Flea, NYC

RECENT PAST  :  Santiago, Chile…2016 and 2017, Taipei, Taiwan – HORSE Dance Company 2016, 2017; Minneapolis May and December 2016, May 2017; September 2015 ….ISRAEL with Yasmeen Godder and Company Fall 2015;  BERLIN @ Schwelle 7 w Felix Rukert 2010=2015;  – 2016 VIENA, Austria; 2016 Limerick, Ireland ; LONDON @ Independent Dance Fall 2014, 2015

I am a proud mother.

photo-my daughter Bella

My students include/have included dancers from all backgrounds, styles and aesthetic viewpoints – Trisha Brown, Stephen Petronio, Neil Greenberg, Wally Cardona, Molly Leiber, Lily Gold, Donna Costello,  “HIJACK” (MPLS), Lily Baldwin, Jeremy Nelson, Yasmeen Godder, Fabio Silva, Gerald Cassel, Johanna Hegenshcheildt (Berlin), Diane Madden, Karin Jameson (Sweden), Janine Rivel (Sweden),  Steinunn Ketilsdóttir, Rebecca Alson-Milkman, Sally Rhoades, Luis Lara,  Barbara Grubel, Cathy Young, Jennifer Monson, Athena Malloy, Rachel Thorne Germond, Cara Heerdt, Ted Johnson, Jessica Winograd,  Zeena Parkins, Jennifer Monson, Joanna Kotze, Kyle de Camp, Nami Yamamoto,  Sarah Lass, Jamie Graham, Alissa Lazaro, Fara Greenbaum, Francis Stansky, Chrysa Parkinson, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Brian Gerke, Jody Melnick,  Steinunn Ketilsdottir, Tatyana Tenenbaum,  Leslie Satin, Jack Ferver, Jeremy Laverdure,- too many wonderful dancers and people to mention.